The seventh Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded jointly to the imprisoned Uyghur intellectual Ilham Tohti from China and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), which brings together young people from across the Balkans to promote reconciliation. “Despite the fact that the wars ended 20 years ago, the gap in our region caused by the wars is extremely large, and the day when the initiative will no longer be needed to bring about lasting peace in the region will be the happiest day for all of us,” said in a speech NevenaTodorović from YIHR Serbia. You can read the full speech here.
The reception was also addressed by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Liliane Mori Pasquié, French Ambassador Jean-Louis Falconi, and CoE Head of Mission Tobias Flessenkemper. The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Liliane Maury Pasquier, congratulated the YIHR Network on the award and stressed that this year’s Václav Havel Prize is even more important as it is awarded in the year the Council of Europe celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights, established in 2003, promotes reconciliation through building links between young people from different ethnic groups, regions, and countries across the Balkans. Working together for human rights, their goal is to build bonds that can prevent the re-emergence of ethnic conflict in the region.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.
Source: Beta; Photo: YIHR